how good are they at finding their way home?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ShanandGem, Jul 16, 2016.

  1. ShanandGem

    ShanandGem Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 16, 2016
    I have five tractors that are identical in appearance. I conducted a little free ranging experiment today and I firmly believe my adult rooster couldn't figure out which tractor was his to lead his ladies back to their roost. In the end it took a combination of four tomcats, me, my daughter, a hunting dog, and four foot long bamboo 'guiding rods' to get them back where they belonged.
    Are chickens noted for their ability to find their way back to the coop? Because I have zero faith in this guy.
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    If they have one coop to return to, they generally do fine, but I think having 5 identical ones threw a spanner in the works here! Remember a chicken's brain is only about the size of a pea [​IMG]
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    How long had that flock been living in that tractor?
    Is it your only flock?

    Interesting situation, would like to know more details.
     
  4. ShanandGem

    ShanandGem Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 16, 2016

    They have been in the tractor for months. They are one of several small flocks that I keep separately in the tractors. The tractors are spread out over probably an acre of grass and within easy sight of each other.
    This rooster is very laid back but he began approaching the other tractors and acting aggressive after being outside for an hour or so. I think he couldn't figure out why they were in his house.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
     
  6. ShanandGem

    ShanandGem Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We just started free ranging so this was their first time free on this property. They are adult birds,Bantam crosses, I know nothing about them other than I bought them together. Rooster and 2 hens (third hen is raising chicks in the main coop)
    The rest of my birds are juveniles and while some are clearly roos they weren't responding to his aggression. In face, they mostly ran and hid.
    I do think they free ranged at their old home because the moment I opened the tractor door they came straight out and covered a huge amount of ground. While they were still in sight of their tractor there were at least two occupied ones between them and their home.
     

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